Physarum is a generative art piece developed in JavaScript that explores the formation of structure over time through autonomous cells that search a randomized space of chemoattractants. The behaviour of these cells is inspired and informed by the expanding and consuming nature of slime molds such as Physarum polycephalum; the “many-headed slime”. Moving towards and engulfing these chemoattractants causes each cell to secrete a trail which other cells can then use to orient themselves towards an energy source. This in turn alters the reacting cell’s movement and response to each attractant, causing additional trails to be left for accompanying cells. After allowing the simulation to run, noisy but distinct and distinguishable paths are formed between each of the energy sources, and display of the recorded trails derived from environmental sensing of the cells unveil hidden complexities in their movement within each generated art piece.

Rory Hoy